Dirty Protest - Mayday
It’s been a while since I attended a Dirty Protest evening of script-in-hand play readings (largely because the company's devotion to non-traditional venues tends to exclude those whose middle-aged joints protest at one's having to sit crouched on the floor for an hour), but I went along to their latest presentation, in the downstairs theatre at the Bunkhouse bar/hotel in central Cardiff, and thoroughly enjoyed it, as ever (especially since I selfishly managed to nab a seat). Curated by Debi Mclean, with a vague "Mayday" theme, and directed by Matthew Bulgo and Sara Lloyd, the pieces were unashamedly crowd-pleasing, perhaps the least traditional being an very funny format-subverting monologue by Ceri Elen. There was also an adoption tale with a comic twist, by D.C. Jackson; Tudur Owen’s relationship-crisis comedy set in a rowing-boat; Daniel Glyn’s amusing mediation on a bilingual Cardiff upbringing; Jams Thomas’ witty take on the lives of IKEA shop-workers; and cherry-popper Lowri Owen bucking the sit-com-ish trend with a poignant childbirth reminiscence; with TV veteran Keiron Self’s graphic-novel-inflected first date tragi-comedy providing a satisfying conclusion. Actors Lee Mengo, Non Haf, Rhian Blythe and Ffion Williams were reliably excellent, and seemed to be enjoying themselves, as did the capacity crowd. A good night out.
Random reflections on a recent visit to the Tate Modern:- it provides a heartening couple of hours of mental/spiritual nourishment even when not all the galleries are in operation, and some of the most notable exhibits are elsewhere; it was interesting to see lots of Japanese visitors checking out the Yayoi Kusama exhibition; I didn’t pay to see the Damien Hirst show, but I couldn’t resist shelling out for a set of fridge-magnets; the room full of anti-Nazi propaganda posters by John Heartfield was especially striking. Well worth the hassle of the seven-hour round trip on the Megabus.